Top 10 Worst Movie Casting Choices

Credits: Rebecca Brayton Ryan Barnett
Script written by Ryan Barnett. We’re going to go out on a limb and say sometimes, Hollywood gets it wrong. Sometimes the wrong actor gets the wrong part. We’ve now entered an age when fickle fanboys will launch petitions when they’re pissed about a piece of casting. We wonder if there were petitions when Sir Laurence Olivier was cast as a French Canadian in "49th Parallel." But either way, here are a few of the casting gaffes that made us want to throw our popcorn at the screen. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 worst casting choices in movies. Special thanks to our users derekallen, Legen Waitforit Dary, Andreas Philippou, Andy Roehl, Grungefan Cobain, MultiPearl007, cliffhanger and Shawn Frary for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Worst Movie Casting Choices


Sometimes, Hollywood gets it wrong. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 worst casting decisions.

For this list, we’ve picked casting choices that, after the movies were released, still left people scratching their heads. While other casting decisions were controversial, some of them worked out for the better.

#10: Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau
“The Pink Panther” (2006)

Here’s a recipe for a definite misfire: recast a comedian’s signature character. By perfecting the “clumsy-idiot-who-takes-himself-too-seriously” act, Sellers became Clouseau. But Martin is just a goof from start-to-finish. Of course, he wasn’t the first to take the role after Sellers, but his was the most painful.

#9: Jack Black as Carl Denham
“King Kong” (2005)

The biggest problem with Peter Jackson’s updated “King Kong” is casting, from Adrien Brody as the romantic, action-hero lead, to the kid from “Billy Elliot” as the superfluous Jimmy. But the biggest sore thumb in the bunch is Jack Black as director Carl Denham – Black is entirely too of-his-time to fit into this depression-era tale, and critics questioned whether he had the dramatic capabilities to carry such an iconic and high-budget film.

#8: George Clooney as Batman
“Batman & Robin” (1997)

We know, we’ve ripped on this movie a lot – but how can you not? Despite his indisputable acting skills, y’can’t help but notice that Clooney is totally absent while wearing the cape and cowl. He probably knew it was a bomb before anyone else, and planned to escape with what dignity he could by looking like the kid who’s too-cool for his role in the dumb high-school play.

#7: Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom
“Spider-Man 3” (2007)

Here’s yet another superhero sequel fail. It makes sense to cast the poor man’s Tobey Maguire as the yin to Peter Parker’s yang. However, when veering so far from the character in the comics, you better be doing so to accommodate a great actor. But let’s face it; Topher is just too skinny and too whiny in the role to pull it off.

#6: Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates
“Psycho” (1998)

We’re not quite sure why Gus Van Sant saw it necessary to make a shot-for-shot remake of this Hitchcock classic, but we can’t imagine him thinking, “Y’now that funny guy from “Swingers”? I want to see what he’d do with this role.” This movie was made during Vince Vaughn’s I’m-a-serious-actor period, which thankfully came to a speedy end, in large part thanks to this super-creepy, super-shy psycho portrayal.

#5: Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker
“Star Wars Episodes II & III” (2002-05)

To begin, there’s tons wrong with the “Star Wars” prequels; but the greatest sin they commit is suggesting that the origins of Darth Vader’s evil lie in his petulant adolescence. Anakin should’ve been portrayed as a sympathetic tragic hero – not as a spoiled teenager. But if that’s your angle George Lucas, we guess Christensen was the right choice, because petulant and whiny sums up every performance he’s ever given.

#4: Rosie O’Donnell as Betty Rubble
“The Flintstones” (1994)

Thinking back to 1994, people were psyched about most of the casting decisions in the long-gestating “Flintstones” movie. But people had a real problem with the choice of Rosie O’Donnell as Betty Rubble. The fact is: Betty’s one of those cartoons like Jessica Rabbit that guys fantasize about. And, well, the nicest thing you could say about O’Donnell is that she does the Betty laugh well.

#3: Denise Richards as Christmas Jones
“The World is Not Enough” (1999)

Denise Richards playing a nuclear physicist requires a super-human suspension of disbelief not even fans of the Bond franchise are capable of. Sure, she was hot at the time, right in the thick of the “Wild Things” fervor. And there’s no doubt that producers hired her to draw in the Maxim crowd. But c’mon did her character need a PhD? GED we’d believe.

#2: Sofia Coppola as Mary Corleone
“The Godfather Part III” (1990)

In 1985, John Huston directed his daughter Anjelica to an Oscar-winning performance in “Prizzi’s Honor.” In 1990, Francis Ford Coppola directed his daughter Sofia to crush what might’ve been history’s greatest film saga with the lumbering weight of her wooden performance. Imagine what might’ve been had Madonna, Julia Roberts or Winona Ryder played the role. Because, despite her accomplishments, Sofia Coppola is still atoning for “The Godfather Part III.”

#1: John Wayne as Genghis Khan
“The Conqueror” (1956)

Is it an overstatement to say that casting all-American John Wayne as 12th Century Mongolian Emperor Genghis Khan was the craziest thing producer Howard Hughes ever did? Trading Wayne’s cowboy hat for a silly moustache wasn’t enough to make him credible. Though Wayne himself petitioned heavily for the part; this casting decision is so bizarre, it sends you running to your computer to verify if it’s actually true.

Do you agree or disagree with our list? Can you think of any catastrophic casting failures on the part of Hollywood that would be in your top ten? Be sure to let us know and check out WatchMojo.com for more great top 10s!
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